The drink’s on us!

I tilfelle noen lurer på hva som foregår i Bakvendtland akkurat nå, så var det visst noen som glemte å skru igjen kranen noen uker siden. Resultatet er ikke bra.
Dette bildet er rådhuset i Cedar Rapids, byen der jeg jobber. Cedar Rapids ble opprinnelig bygget rundt en øy i Cedar River. Denne øyen befinner seg nå under rådhuset og en mengde vann. Resten av sentrumsnære og lavereliggende deler av byen er også under en mengde vann.

Iowa City befinner seg stort sett på høyere grunn ved Iowa River, men selv der er det en god del vann som blander seg opp i ting man helst ikke vil ha vann i.
Jeg bor også på høy grunn like ved Iowa River. Selv om det er usannsynlig at vannet kommer til å nå leiligheten min, er det på vei oppover hovedgata like ved. Mange veier er stengt, og det inkluderer I-380, motorveien jeg tar til jobben hver dag. Eneste omkjøringsmulighet tar veien innom Des Moines, to timer unna, og kommer til å ta omtrent 5 timer totalt, om ikke mere. Det er klart at jeg ikke kommer meg på jobb til I-380 åpner igjen. Og akkurat nå som vi har så mye å gjøre!

Hjemme har jeg både strøm, gass og vann, men ikke internett, så jeg måtte ta en tur inn til Iowa City og finne en internettcafé for å sjekke eposten. Ingen elsker meg i dag heller…

Og værvarslingen er ikke oppløftende: regn og tordenvær, med mulighet for tornadoer. Det er kanskje ikke overraskende, for det er alt vi har hatt i flere uker nå, med etpar dager sol fra tid til annen. Jeg begynner å forstå hvordan Noah følte seg, og hva som kan motivere folk til å bygge arker.
Selv føler jeg meg bare motivert til å flytte herfra. Det er ikke bare møkkaværet jeg helst vil være foruten, men også krisemaksimeringen og ansvarsfraskrivingen jeg har sett her både vinter og sommer. Til tross for at I-380 er eneste veien mellom Iowa City og Cedar Rapids gjøres nesten ingenting for å holde veien åpen. Akkurat nå er det bare litt vann i veibanen over en kort strekning, og det kunne godt vært unngått, men ingen prøvde engang. De bare skyndte seg å stenge veien så fort veidekket ble litt fuktig rundt kantene, for da har jo ikke myndighetene noe ansvar mere. At folk ikke kan komme seg noe sted er deres egen feil. Selvsagt.
Akkurat som om vinteren; det er mye enklere å bare stenge veiene enn å brøyte. Og det kutter jo ned på traffikkulykkene, og det er jo bra? Bortsett fra at det tvinger folk til å kjøre på småveier med dårlig kapasitet og inget vedlikehold, som er lengre enn hovedveiene så man må kjøre mer totalt. Bare at ulykkene skjer ikke på veier som folk høyt oppe har ansvar for, altså. Og da er alt bra.
Elvene her flommer ikke hvert år, men de flommer regelmessig. Likevel har store naturområder like ved elven, der blant annet ørner holdt til, blitt rasert de siste årene for husbygging. Kommunen kan nemlig tjene enorme summer på å selge disse normalt veldig attraktive tomtene. At husene nå står under vann og at ørnene ikke har noen trær å bygge reder i bryr ingen seg om.
Kort sagt bor jeg i en stat der folk ikke ser noen problemer med å pisse i buksa for å holde varmen på en kald dag. Det får meg til å føle meg som om jeg er bedre enn andre og det liker jeg ikke, for jeg vet jo at det ikke er sant.

Så det er kanskje bedre at jeg drar til Norge og beviser at jeg er bedre til å holde meg under radaren enn slektningene er til å lete…

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16 comments on “The drink’s on us!

  1. Ja, mindre vær er bra! Dette er riktignok uvanlig, men det går jo fra den ene krisen til den neste, med en og annen katastrofen innimellom for variasjon. Det blir bare for mye.

  2. Hei Marina — I used to visit your blog a lot to get norsk practice, after you commented once on mine at sprayblogg. I visited today (it’s been a long while) because I wondered if you were still in IA and how you were doing in the flood.
    I think all signs are pointing to «GET OUT OF IOWA». (understatement)
    You’d no doubt have a much happier experience just moving to a decent state in the US, somewhere where people are not that horrible and you could live on the higher ground. I don’t know how you do it there, I would go crazy. Not to mention the flooding — it is really shocking what is happening in IA.
    What about the northeast regions? I live in the state Massachusetts and while we have some ugly Americans it’s nowhere near as bad as IA.

  3. Yeah, I have known a long time that «get out of Iowa» is quite important. But I was flat broke after the ex husband went through my money (and credit) and at least I had a decent job here.
    Now I am starting to realize just how crazy this place is driving me, and I think «somewhere far from Iowa» is definitely better than the Funny Farm.
    I have considered moving back to the Northwest (hardly any jobs and really expensive), California (no, really), the Northeast (still expensive but better for jobs), Canada (horrid winters, except for in Vancouver which is bloody expensive) and come to the conclusion that all these places come with only two weeks of vacation. In Norway I’d get four, or most likely five.
    But you’re right about Massachusetts being quite livable. I’ve been there, and the only thing that impressed me in a negative manner was airport security (I flew through Logan on September 2, 2001).

  4. Oh yes, that ex-husband. I do remember.
    It’s so true that options of good places are shrinking everywhere. I’d move to France if I could (or Norway, at least for a while, but that’s even more impossible than France). I don’t like the US but unfortunately was born here/don’t have independent wealth.

    Yes, I definitely see your point about vacation time. I think Norway is a great choice if that’s where you want to go. I hope that goes very well for you and I’m envious! (smile)
    Nowhere in the US has been ideal for me but Massachusetts has grown on me, as they say. There is state health insurance (everyone is covered even if they can’t pay), both beaches and mountains, some wilderness, the city of Boston is great and there are many major points/port/cities of the east coast within driving distance. The arts are strong in this state. It’s comfortable — affordable — people are more educated, in general, or I should say at least one can find plenty of educated people and transplanted Europeans. A lot of musicians move here and that’s always a good sign, I think. There is also tech industry in the northeast, not as much as other places maybe but still. The winter is not good though — only on Cape Cod is it tolerable.
    I did like living in New Mexico (we lived in Santa Fe) but people are of the same isolated mindset as your Iowans. I finally went stir-crazy (bored, lonely) and we had to move back. I won’t recommend NM to you because of that, although it’s a very unusual and intriguing place for other reasons (I met an «ekte nordmann» there who was married to an Indian lady and making a living as a Buffalo Bill impersonator. True story!).

  5. Yeah, the ex husband really did me in, but he could not have done that if Iowa wasn’t a common law state. I didn’t know, or didn’t think of it, but common law gives a man full power over his wife’s finances. Really rotten, I think.
    I have heard people in Massachusetts are the best educated and most intelligent in the US. Probably the effect of MIT and a few things like that. I wouldn’t have minded studying at MIT, but I don’t think I’m that important, and I’m way too lazy.

    I’d move to France too if I could just remember the language, but years in the US has left me unable to speak anything but a little english and what I remember of norwegian.

    So I think Norway may be my best option. Like in Massachusetts the winters are hard, but not as bad as in Iowa. And summers are not bad, usually. And one does get vacation.

    My only problem is that I don’t have a job or a place to stay, or friends or any real family. I have relatives but they are too crazy.

  6. Yeah, stay far away from crazy relatives!
    But I beg to differ, you are completely fluent in both norsk and engelsk. You are too modest, Marina. You could tutor people (lots of people here like me who descended from Norwegian immigrants) if you wanted to, for extra $$$.
    French does come back — I am brushing up again from my long-ago forgotten school French because I’ve been going to Paris every year (have an old friend there). I know there are people in France who want to learn Norwegian too. But I know what you mean, to be employable there you need to be up to speed right away.
    If you’re still a citizen, don’t you have rights for what you’re entitled to when you return to Norge?

  7. I’m not fluent in English, but I speak American quite well…
    That could be an advantage in some jobs in Norway, but I’m not sure it would make up for my unusual background. Employers generally don’t like unusual, and I have the impression Norwegian employers are more than average cautious on this point.
    As for rights, I’m still a Norwegian citizen, but all that gives me right to is having a Norwegian passport. The «system» isn’t all that flexible, though it works quite well for the normal issues people have.

  8. Speaking American does comes in handy here. What can I say. We’re the bastard child of the whole world. Raised by wolves!
    I don’t know if this is of any possible use to you but there are several job openings right now at the Scandinavia House in New York City. They want people who speak a Scandinavian language/have knowledge of Scandinavian culture/are legally able to work in the US. They of course know that applicants are not going to have a place to live yet and may need assistance with those issues so I would not worry about having to show perfect independence in being able to re-locate. Everyone needs help finding a place to live in NYC, it’s a tough market.
    Job applicants need, among others, PC skills and some type of arts background experience in at least two of the positions. Scandinavia House is beautiful and right in the center of Scandinavian culture/people in NYC. I’ve been there for jazz concerts on the roof and it feels very European to me.
    There is also the Seaman’s Church (Norwegian) in NYC (I’ve visited there too) in the embassy district. The Seaman’s Church seems to offer a strong network of Norwegian nationals helping each other in the city (aside from what the Church offers to seamen, I mean).

  9. http://www.amscan.org/staff.html

    Hei igjen…
    Those are the listings. I know that they may not be of interest or relevant to you but I just thought I’d pass it along anyway. I went to see your Flickr photos and you have obvious artistic background! Beautiful work.
    Lykke til og ha det bra…

  10. I don’t think those positions are relevant to me; they are looking for somebody from much higher social strata!
    My artistic background is limited to a single class in Art History, taken at a community college…

  11. Á daeven… Det var mye vann. :-O
    I Norge er det mindre vaer og mer ferie… sant nok. Jeg kan ikke skjónne annet enn at din bakgrunn má vaere av interesse for norske arbeidsgivere. Det er i hvert fall verdt et forsók, for det hóres ut som du trenger forandring!

  12. Ja, jeg trenger forandring! Jeg burde ha flyttet herfra for lenge siden. Dette stedet er bare deprimerende. Jeg tror jeg kommer til å trenge psykiatrisk behandling for å komme over det.
    Folk flest trenger bare avvenning…

  13. Takk, Lothiane! Jeg kunne virkelig trenge en klem nå.
    Hvis jeg kan få det til skal jeg dra herfra i September, tror jeg. Men det er mulig jeg må vente til senere.
    Tidligere ville vært bedre.

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